SPOILER ALERT: The Testaments
I wrote about “June”/Offred before. Now, in The Testaments, set 15-ish years after the main narrative of The Handmaid’s Tale, we have a trio of female narrators (and I could write about any of them, TBH). But the one I want to talk about is Daisy (or Jade, or Nicole). Daisy is living in Canada, not in Gilead— and she is, as a young teenager, interested in Gilead protest politics. But it isn’t until the shit hits the fan that we see her true badass nature. When she is folded swiftly into the Mayday resistance following a dramatic and traumatic event, she is a reluctant revolutionary. She’s given to teenage snark and flippancy, and she doesn’t immediately and enthusiastically sign on to do the bidding of Mayday. She is young, and knows of Gilead through news and school lessons, but does not recall a pre-Gilead world, and she’s never experienced it first-hand (that she knows of), so perhaps the urgency felt by the activists she works with is missing for her. Yet once she can no longer choose to be safe and “normal”, she doesn’t mope and mourn. Despite her sometimes bratty attitude, she ultimately charges forward in the direction of righteousness. And service. And liberation.
She trains hard. She lets herself be physically transformed. And she goes behind enemy lines, hoping to use herself to bring down the oppressive, misogynistic regime of Gilead. She works alongside young women who share no experience or worldview with her, graciously. She endures physical hardship, without protest. She sees what must be a shocking alternate reality in Gilead. And she does all of this while facing what must be great trauma around her identity.
Why does she let herself be cast in this role, when it wasn’t her idea? Perhaps she was born for it, and perhaps it’s just the way of the badass.